I can honestly say, my kids almost killed me.

Commemorating my children’s milestones has always included taking tons of photographs. I have boxes of them in the basement waiting to be assembled in albums. When they went to college, I framed and hung their first day of school pictures in our upstairs hall. I always smile when I see their eager young faces.

Back to school 4

To me, my children are a miracle and I am grateful. Not just because they are amazing, but because I was hospitalized with both of them.

Kelly was positioned face up and I went through horrible back labor. My body fought hard against giving birth to him. It was eighteen hours before I reached four centimeters effaced which is the golden measurement for receiving an epidural anesthetic. Once I could finally relax, I progressed quickly. When he crowned, I had nothing left, no energy at all. My doctor said I wasn’t pushing hard enough and he threatened to perform a Cesarean section. I begged him to give me another chance. I asked Danny to play the cassette tape I brought. Minutes later, Kelly was born to the sounds of Oingo Boingo. Danny filmed the birth. The mirror reflected the overhead fluorescents onto my hooha and the doctor pulled Kelly out of a heavenly white light.

back to school 5

Hours later, I awoke to a crazy strong heart palpitation. Doctors and nurses rushed me to the cardiac care unit thinking I’d had a heart attack. Many tests and days later, they determined I had a Paroxysmal Supraventricular Tachycardia or PVST. They sent me home with some kind of beta blocker and instructions not to drink coffee or eat chocolate. I already had low blood pressure. No wonder I was tired all the time!

Back to school 3

While pregnant with Courtney, Danny and I went to an ultrasound appointment. The nurse knew we didn’t want to know the sex, but we saw a suspicious third leg. “It has to be the umbilical cord,” I said. I had many dreams that Kelly played with his little sister. The baby had to be a girl.

Two months before Courtney’s due date, I stooped to leash the dog and felt a rush of blood. Danny drove me to the hospital. After a thorough examination, the doctor informed us of my Placenta Previa. That occurs when the egg attaches very low in the womb. When the cervix begins to efface or thin, it tears and causes bleeding. If I continued to tear, I could bleed out, lose the baby, and die. The intern in the emergency room related a graphic story of a woman who bleed out on the table and soaked him and the floor. Too Much Information or what???? I was admitted into the hospital. My doctor hoped I was right about the sex of my baby since girl’s lungs develop earlier than boys. Insert joke here.

back to school 2


My mother flew out from Wisconsin to take care of Kelly. They visited every day. I played queen with my feet up and worked on counted cross stitch projects. They gave so much iron, my fingers turned the needles black. Six weeks before my due date, they released me.

Back to school 1

Two weeks later, while giving Kelly a bath, I felt the familiar rush of blood. We drove to the hospital. I felt no pain and was surprised to hear I was already at the golden measurement. I had no hope for a natural child-birth since I could bleed out during labor. The first time the needle was inserted, it fell out. Oh boy did I feel natural labor! The second time was the charm. Six hours later, the nurse woke me and said it was time. I made Danny take a shower while I applied makeup and brushed my hair. Ridiculous. I know! While Danny recorded this more natural footage of the birth, the doctor yelled, “It’s a GIRL!”

back to school 06

I call Courtney my Fingernail Baby since she hung on by her fingernails until her due date!

This weekend, Courtney’s graduation from CU coincided with Mother’s Day. I reflected on my children’s precarious births and am thankful we are all healthy and happy. They both have already attained amazing goals.

CC and family 1

Congratulations Courtney!

CC thumbs up

After a celebratory brunch on Friday, I had an idea. Kelly graduated from Northern Colorado in December. I had both kids pose at the front door. I snapped a picture to commemorate their last day of school.

last day of school

I’m looking forward to a long life filled with milestones!


Do you photograph life’s big moments?

99 thoughts on “I can honestly say, my kids almost killed me.

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  1. Felicidades to Courtney! Great milestone! I love these pics, Susie. I did the exact same thing every fall. It’s so sad that there won’t be any more pics to be taken so I love your idea of having them pose post school. Your kids are very good looking and Courtney looks just like you. 🙂


    1. Oh wow! Thanks so much! Definitely have them pose together the next time they’re both at home! 🙂
      I got the braiinstorm the morning before graduation, so I bought some floral baskets. They’re in the house now since it’s snowing here!!!!!


  2. Yowsers it’s crazy enough when the babies have issues but the moms as well yikes! Glad it turned out fine. What a beautiful family you have, Susie. Congrats to Courtney!


  3. Congratulations to you and your family! We did the first day of school photos on the porch too. Last year I compiled my daughter’s pics from kindergarten to senior year for a graduation post, and am getting ready to do the same for my son’s high school graduation next month. It’s so cool to see the year by year changes. It goes so fast!


    1. That is so cool!
      When my kids graduated from high school, I made each of them a huge collage of photos. I placed all their school pictures in a row on the top and the bottom. I love looking at the transformation!!!
      Thanks so much Coleen!


  4. Well you are just a medical mess. Fodder for good blogs, but enough already. Haven’t you put yourself through enough medical procedures to last an entire lifetime?

    Awesome photos – terrific kids – congratulations to them both and to you and Danny for being such amazing parents!

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt


    1. I know, right? And this happened so long ago….But they are stories the kids grew up with and they loved the post.

      Thanks so much Patricia!
      Are you in the Los Angeles area?


  5. What a harrowing experience it was to bring both of those kids into the world. Love your photographs of them in front of the door. I do take photos of my son as he leaves for his first day of school, but not in the same place each year. Happy Mother’s Day, belated! (My son’s birth was quite an experience, although my life was never in jeopardy, his was.)


  6. Congrats to Your Daughter – Great Accomplishment – love the captures too!!! I love photographing milestones, but I am usually not in them because I am the one with the camera – ha! Happy Mother’s Day Sweetie 🙂


  7. Oh, your kids! They are so beautiful! I love how you took pictures of them in front of the door. The whole thing speaks volumes about you. That you enjoy and create beauty and memories. Right down to the decor around your door! I always feel proud when I sweep away the cobwebs hanging over the vestibule in front of the door so the spiders I fling out there after discovering them in the tub don’t fall on our guests.


    1. Thanks so much Nia!
      The early photos were all taken in August, so the flowers were always abundant. Early May? I had to fake it out! I bought two baskets and brought them inside when it snowed last weekend!
      Are you in the Los Angeles area?


  8. I am an avid photographer and I can’t wait to add to my collection some of those shown here in your blog of my own twosome. Not just yet though, but one day!


    1. Enjoy every minute! It goes so fast. I have so many boxes of photos to go through. I thought we would look at the hours and hours of video, but that hasn’t happened yet either! We do enjoy the framed photos. Now I have to switch out the high school grad photos with college!!!!


    1. Hey Kipp!!! How is life in Hawaii? Did you meet Colin?

      There are a lot of jokes just laying there about our lungs. Mine must have been huge since I probably came out of the womb rambling away about the dream I just had….


  9. I take lots of pictures and other family members get annoyed but, hey, it’s always worth it to look back on them years later. I sure loved looking at your photos of the kids growing up.

    So sorry you had such a difficult time with both births. Whew! So glad both babies and you were fine. So scary to go through things like that. And the idiot intern telling a mother at risk about his previous awful experience. How did he get so far in med school? Sheesh!

    It was wonderful meeting up with you last night. And Courtney, what a gem of a young woman. She’ll go far, so bright and very confident. You and Danny done good! Cheers to all of you!


    1. Thanks Lynn!
      I take pictures everywhere I go. In my book, my protagonist is a photographer. One editor thought it was weird that she took a lot of pictures!!! I have never seen more people taking photos than on this trip. Every phone is an excellent camera!

      Yep! I made it through the pregnancies and childbirth, but when my own Catholic mother said, “Enough already!” I knew I was done having any more!

      I LOVED meeting up with you too! It always feels like getting together with old friends! Thanks so much for coming out. I will post about it n a few days!


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